Openness as a Reflection of God

Oneness and Openness are One

UCC is committed to the principle of Open (today’s blog) and Affirming (yesterday’s)
We all have heard the expression that a closed mind is like  closed umbrella good for nothing or some variety of that……
Openness is the new down right upright. 
It is akin to Oneness. With the multiplicity of humanity in its various tribes and nations (by the way all of whom are present at the White Robe Gathering in Revelation) we must assume that the God who created such diversity of peoples, natures, seas, and skies,
was not a “One Way Thinking” God but a God of Multiplicity of thoughts and ideas in a universe of diversity of forms and structures within which there is essential freedoms to be and mutate at will not as an offense to the creator but as a statement of the nature of the Creator God. Being open to various and varied forms of innovation, invention, interventions creates an open door and comes form an open heart.  Have you ever had a door slammed in your face, or an idea or opinion slammed intellectually or insensitively.  The God who created a world of freedom of choice, of the will and of the mind did not have “one way” thinking a part of his or her or their nature but on the contrary..  The multiplicity of working parts in the body, more specifically the multiplicity of the brain tell us clearly form the creator that “Open Minds and Hearts are part of the Attribution to God”.  Perhaps even more that some items we attribute to God then use  to online humanity or define right and wrong.  How deplorable destructive or at least unhealthy a “closed mind and heart” can be.  Attributing Holiness, Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omni presence with attributing Affirmation and Openness is contraindicated and perpetuates the myth of the creator being exclusive, egoistic, and elitist.  Affirming and Openness creates the very vehicle to evil existing as an allowable choice and offering strength of and structure for good choices given that affirming and openness rather than the reverse.
This is at least a key reason why the terms Open and Affirming are connected in the expression of affirming all peoples and their choices and request of all people respect and openness to those vary variations and verities.
Open Heartedness and Open Mindedness are not about liberality or literally interpreting anything or any narrative.  Open means we are open to the extravagant, efficacious, extensive and expansive nature of God’s love and endorsement of humanity and all of its parts differentiations and diversity in around and through those parts.  Like the human body is made up of many parts though one body so the church and the world are inclusively made up of a multiplicity of parts the need maturity of an open mind and heart to not debate who is wrong or right but to be open to the multiplicity of diversity and the formation and openness that the “Make of heaven and Earth obviously not only had in mind but was an expression of his/her/their being.
So in the spirit on “being One as the father and Son are One let us open all the windows of possibilities without prejudice and the doors of diversity without bias” and see the greater things that we can do when we reflect the attributions of image rather the the confinements of humanity.
As Iraneaus once said, “Only to be fully human such is the Glory of God”


Redefining Affirmative Action

Love Wins

The term “Affirmative Action” was used over the last decades to suggest that giving preference to one group over another is wrong yet it also undermines that very position by saying that to balance the wrong we will offer a “prejudice and bias” in the other direction as a mid course correction.


Being positive, good, and kind in attitudes, attributions, and actions toward all people regardless of anything about that  attitudes, attributions, actions of that person or that group of persons, will eclipse bias and judgment not by random acts of kindness but by perpetual and perennial flowing waters of grace and mercy, from hearts of love for all and peace within.

When during the holiday season many churches read not only the Biblical “Christmas Story” (In three of the four Gospels) but also the resounding context of that story in the heart and mind of God found in the Gospel of John.  In John 1, Jesus is not the Babe of Bethlehem but the Lead of God in the person of Christ.  Jesus is presented here as the one in whom we beheld the Glory of God: “Full of Grace and Truth”.

Jesus life and ministry and his “lead” as a model for all people of faith to follow was to attribute to all people the truth of divinity and humanity.Divinely speaking, God loves everyone regardless of anything about them, positive or negative.  Humanly speaking, God knows all humanity to have both a seed of His goodness, grace and mercy but also a seed of judgment, bias, and prejudice (seeing things the way they see them regardless of how God might see them).

Does it surprise you if you flip pages of New Testament Scripture a few hundred pages to Ephesians 4, you find the expression from Paul to the church geo-communications and eco-compassion: “speak the Truth with Love”.  This formula eludes the church and many relationships.  People speak their truth, their perceptions as if they are true with egoism, bias and prejudice running the show!  Little or no love or grace is present.  Whenever Jesus speaks “Truth” he always speeaks that Truth with the Comapssion of Grace not the harshness of “I am Right”.   For God the lead is that being right in judgment is less Godly than being “right in your heart of Grace” toward all regardless of anything.  Maybe this iss why John 3:16 is probably the most often quoted and known biblical verse and yeat the least follwoed as a motto and model for humanity.


Leading with”Truth and Grace” is to be affirming of the seed of goodness in all without ignoring the seed of humanity in all as well.

Be affirming in your attitudes, attributions, and actions toward all not because they deserve it but because you didn’t deserve it yet received that form God.

Affirmative action produces Righteous relationships.

A New Year’s Commitment Challenge not Resolution

Grace and Mercy > Bias and Prejudice

Happy New Year. Imagine 2000 plus years ago as the excitement of Christmas faded and May Joseph and Jesus prepared to leave for Egypt the talk around the little town of Bethlehem was “no doubt” still even with all the excitement of Christmas (excitement fades quickly in the presence of a suspicious, bias, prejudice, and judgment).
When the dust of divine celebration settles the judgment of human criticism overtakes. They were fleeing to Egypt to avoid the judgment of humanity. The human narrative outweighs the divine dream narrative.

This is so true in our day. People are slow to grace and mercy and quick to human narratives of bias and prejudice.

Will you consider making a commitment (Not a New Year’s Resolution) to extending “grace and mercy” to all people and expunging from your narrative bias and prejudice (even if you think your narrative is correct, can you suspend a right narrative – in your mind – in favor of a narrative of grace and mercy! What a difference that will make in your world as it is “loving the world as God loves the world”




Donald Paine
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